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The Scarlet & Black

First band out-stunts headliner

By Que’nique Newbill

Last Friday, Feb. 11, Grinnell hosted bands hailing from the slightly disparate auspices of Brooklyn, NY and Ames, IA in Gardner Lounge. Poison Control Center (PCC) opened the show with amazing energy. Joint guitar solos, a main feature of their set, were accented by headstands and splits by band members Joe Terry and David Olson, while lead singer and guitarist Patrick Fleming brought plenty of sass to the mic during the stunt-filled performance.

The crowd clearly loved the show and responded with a few spontaneous mosh pits—some of which had to be restrained by security during the course of the evening. PCC finished their set with an up-close-and-personal guitar jam on the floor of Gardner, and audience members definitely got some musical sweat tossed their way in the close quarters.

PCC is best described as a playful pop shake of homemade rock and garage tease—a secular Reliant K, if you will—or maybe just the band you wish you had been in in high school. They describe their mix as “indie/powerpop,” which definitely fit the vibe on Friday. PCC performed songs from their 17-song double LP entitled “Sad Sour Future,” which they released in May last year—Pitchfork awarded the album a 7.4. After this weekend, the band plans to venture west and then northwest. Whatever their direction, this well-established and energetic band—celebrating their tenth anniversary this year—will manage just fine.
Following PCC, the headliner Motive, made up of Andrew McGovern, Chris Bagamery, Dave Leondi and Nick Wold, brought a more mature tone to the evening. Unfortunately, not all audience members found their smoke-machine enhanced haze as palatable as high-energy PCC—Gardner began to leak out like a broken faucet.

Since PCC had hyped the crowd up, Motive struggled to bring the concert’s tone back down to their more melancholy vibe. Still, Motive did at least provided the ambiance for a little hipster-trance-dancing. A dedicated few stayed, although perhaps just to avoid Chains.

If some regret having left early, never fear. Motive recently released an eponymous album with six tracks. It can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp and MySpace.
Motive does seem to be up on their social networking sites at least—the band tweeted, “Now tweeting from the stage at grinnell college woot” in the middle of the show. Perhaps their Twitter compulsion is to blame for their disappointing lack of on-stage action.

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    RachaelFeb 27, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Well, it would definitely not be the first time I have watched these boys mop the floor with the “headliner.” They made the Apples look tired at Gabe’s a couple years back. Heck, they even gave the legendary Pavement a run for their money last Fall in Kansas City. Admittedly, I love this band and their stage antics. I just hope they get the fame and attention they deserve while they’re still going.